Climate change is, and always will be, a hot topic. To survive rising temperatures every system in the world, natural or human, will need to be as strong and healthy as we can make it.
For this Q1 2021/22 Impact Report we are focusing on COP26 - the world’s opportunity to deliver a credible, binding response to the climate disaster we currently face. And, we are highlighting our industry's impact, and what we are doing to take responsibility.
So what is COP26 about?
Conference of the parties, otherwise known as COP is an annual global United Nations climate conference attended by our world leaders. COP26, the 26th annual conference postponed in 2020 due to Covid-19, is currently being held in the UK in Glasgow with 196 world leaders attending. Here they unite forces to tackle climate change and accelerate action towards achieving the Paris Agreement climate goals made back in 2015 at COP21. At COP21 every country agreed to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius of pre-industrial revolution levels, with a reduction of 45% carbon emissions by 2030.
Alas, we have seen an increase in carbon emissions since the agreement was made and have subsequently witnessed devastating and unpredictable climate chaos from drought and wildfires, to extreme storms and flooding events.
Threatening our very survival. There is a sense of urgency and need for solidarity.
It is reported that the global temperature rise has already exceeded 1 degrees Celsius and more than one fifth of all human populations live in regions that have experienced a raise of 1.5 degrees Celsius. On the current trajectory global warming could increase by 4 to 5 degrees Celsius by the end of the century - this would be catastrophic.
There's no denying the science.
There have been intense discussions at COP26. These are just some of the highlights:
- More than 100 world leaders promise to end and reverse deforestation by 2030.
- 100 countries have pledged to cut emissions of the greenhouse gas methane by 2030.
- 40 countries have committed to shifting away from coal (not Australia!).
But, these strategies only form part of the solution. We need to transition to a circular economy, moving away from the current take, make, waste economic model. Redesigning products and services that eliminate waste and emissions by keeping resources in the value chain within industry, land use and agriculture. This will require innovation, financial investment and systemic infrastructural change through government policy.
So is there hope?
As individuals we can make a difference through lifestyle changes that can help the plight of our planet; shop locally, consume less meat, recycle more, take public transport. However, this is not enough, we need to lobby our government to take action. They have the power to change policy and stop the destruction and pollution of our precious planet.
“If working apart we are a force powerful enough to destabilise our planet, surely working together, we are powerful enough to save it.” ~ David Attenborough, COP26 2021.
A 2020 report found that the Fashion industry’s emissions are actually set to rise to around 2.7 billion tons a year by 2030, if current measures stay the same. Fashion’s emissions would be at double the maximum level required to be in line with the Paris Agreement’s aim to keep global warming to 1.5°C.
But in other news... we now have a shiny new number for how polluting the fashion industry is: 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions. That's a huge drop from the original 10% figure frequently cited - a number that some UN intern made up a decade ago.
The new 2% number is courtesy of The World Resources Institute and the Apparel Impact Institute, which recently co-released a new report. They used Higg and Textile Exchange data to come up with 1.025 gigatonnes (Gt) of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) released as a result of fashion in 2019.
"Unchecked, emissions will grow to 1.588 Gt by 2030, well off pace to deliver the 45 percent absolute reduction needed to limit warming to 1.5°C," the report said.
What are we doing?
There’s a lot of work ahead of us to become truly sustainable and we are committed to being honest, transparent, and taking responsibility for our actions. We are trying to stay in line with the Paris Agreement emissions reductions targets. This quarter, we are looking to expand our carbon emission reduction targets as a business and setting our goals for the year ahead.
One of the biggest challenges we face as a company, and as an industry is visibility through our entire supply chain.
In July 2020, we set the target to reduce the carbon emissions from our freight by 45% by 2025 in line with the Paris Agreement.
Our goal for 2021-22 is to introduce environmental auditing with our key Tier 1 suppliers, expanding our emissions reporting through our supply chain. We will continue to report on freight emissions and will also review emissions generated by our store, head office and distribution centre.
This visibility will allow us to develop a more targeted strategy for carbon off-setting. The environmental auditing will also provide an insight into our Tier 1 supplier water consumption and waste water treatment, which is another critical issue.
The introduction of made to order collections is another exciting sustainable strategy. It is reported that the fashion industry is responsible for 92 million tonnes of solid waste annually. 30% of clothes made remain unsold as deadstock.
Fast fashion is a relatively new phenomenon. This faced paced instant gratification fuels a disposable mindset. Traditionally clothes were made to order; the anticipation fostering a deeper appreciation. We believe designing classic timeless pieces using a made to order model offers a slow sustainability solution to reduce textile waste, resource depletion and carbon emissions.
Additionally we are introducing an exciting new initiative to move towards a circular fashion economy: watch this space!
Our goals for 2021-22 in line with the Paris Agreement emissions reductions targets.
- Introduce environmental auditing and emissions reporting for key tier 1 suppliers by the end of 2021-22.
- Expand on emissions reporting for our distribution centre, head office and boutique.
- Carbon off-setting through donations and collaborations with our partners in line with our carbon emissions.
- 90% of orders to ship by sea freight.
- Made to order collections.
Here's a snapshot of our Q1 2021/22 Performance.
Reduced fibre impact.
By using sustainable fibres in place of generic fibres we have reduced our impact by:
Reference: Sustainable Apparel Coalition, Higg Material Sustainability Index.
Want to decode the above? Head on over to our glossary of sustainability terms here.
To meet the UN targets we need to transition to a circular economy, moving away from the current take, make, waste economic model. Redesigning products and services that eliminate waste and emissions by keeping resources in the value chain.
This quarter, we have repurposed most of the waste fabric from landfill to craft our Dylan Revive Scrunchies and Headbands, launching soon!
We are expanding our Revive offering, collaborating with local designers and makers…stay tuned for more...
We’re proudly extra! We avoid plastic at all costs – no plastic packaging, trims as in buttons and zips, or kimbles. We use exclusively FSC recycled materials for packaging and swing tags. We keep it it all compostable.
There’s a lot of work ahead of us to become truly sustainable and we are committed to being honest, transparent, and taking responsibility for our actions. We’re forever grateful to you for joining and supporting us on this journey.